Girl Suspended from School For Saying ‘Bless You’ after a Sneeze

A religion hating Tennessee High School teacher gave one of her students a suspension for daring to say “bless you” to a fellow student who sneezed even after the teacher banned the use of “God talk” in her classroom.

For most Americans saying “bless you” after someone sneezes is an automatic reaction. It is rarely connected with religion and is generally just a social custom. But a teacher from Dyer County High School in west Tennessee so hates the phrase that she banned its use in her classroom.

The thus far unnamed teacher put a list of banned words on a white board in the classroom. “Bless you” was on the list.

But, worse, this teacher also threw a student out of the class after the girl, 17-year-old Kendra Turner, dared to say “bless you” to a fellow student anyway.

The girl was handed an in-school suspension for daring to say bless you to her fellow student in violation of the teacher’s banning of the words. Turner, though, says that the teacher has no right to stop the girl form using the phrase.

“She told me that we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class,” Turner told the media on Tuesday. “I said, ‘well my pastor told me it’s my constitutional right.'”

The school, though, is sticking up for the teacher and claims that it was not “a religious issue.”

“In this case, this was not a religious issue at all, but more of an issue the teacher felt was a distraction in her class,” assistant principal Lynn Garner said.

After the incident became public knowledge, students began to make hand-made t-shits to protest this out-of-control teacher’s actions.

So, how exactly is saying “bless you” such a big “distraction” in a classroom? It is only a “distraction’ if the teacher makes a big deal out of it and the only reason to make a big deal out of it is a hate for religion.

There is no other possible reason.

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  • GarandFan

    Just another example of ‘intelligence’ in schools today. Evidently STUPIDITY is a major prerequisite for a teaching or administrative job.

  • Commander_Chico

    I reserve judgment. Kids can organize to disrupt a class by sneezing and then saying “BLESS YOU” in unison. At least I did that kind of thing at my prep school.

    • And even if that were the case, I’d blame the teacher for saying that “bless you’ is banned in the first place. The teacher’s heavy handed and unconstitutional tactic evoked such a response.

      • Commander_Chico

        That Kendra seems like an insolent girl.

        • I like her already.

          • Commander_Chico

            Insolence combined with Pharisaical sanctimony is not a good combination.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            “Insolence combined with Pharisaical sanctimony” Wow, you know her pretty well, eh Chico?

          • Commander_Chico

            Yes, her description of her disruption as “Godly talk” tells me enough about her.

            Is it really desirable to have a whole class raggedly exclaiming “bless you” when someone sneezes? Think about it.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            According to the article, it was the teacher who described “bless you” as “Godly talk,” not the student. What does that tell you about the teacher?

          • Brucehenry

            I seriously doubt the teacher who didn’t want the phrase “bless you” used in her class used the phrase “godly talk.”

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Insolent, sanctimonious and now a liar. You and Chico really know this girl, don’t you.

          • Brucehenry

            As well as you know the teacher and her motivation for including this phrase in her “banned” list.

            If it was about religion she probably would have banned the creepy “Have a blessed day” tripe.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Read my comments – did I say anything about the teacher, other than what was written in the article to refute Chico’s comment about the girl? Did I attribute to the teacher any of attributes or motives you generous souls attributed to the 17 yr. old girl? No, I didn’t. It’s you and Chico that have a teenaged girl psychoanalyzed after reading a couple of paragraphs.
            Oh, and since I don’t want to creep you out, have a sh1tty day.
            EDIT – Will Disqus not allow me to post the word “shitty?”
            EDIT II – Apparently, it will – first two times I tried to post, it wouldn’t let me. Must not have been because of of the word “shitty.”

          • Brucehenry

            This ain’t the first article I’ve read on this story. And even if it was, does it REALLY sound like something a non-nut would say? “Godly talk?” Who says that?

            You’ve never read anything and said, “That sounds like bullshit to me”? Really?

            “Have a blessed day” is creepy, sorry, it just is.

          • Jwb10001

            I should be free to say have a blessed day and you should be free to say f*#@ off numb nuts. What this crap is all about is banning half of that and not the other.

          • I thought chica was talking to the mirror…

        • Retired military

          Well if she was chanting “fuck the police”, “Down with the man” “I want free stuff” and “go OWS” she would be the poster girl on the ceiling above your bed.

  • Brucehenry
    • EricSteel

      Bruce, who is being a rube? Are you saying it didn’t happen? Did you follow Warner’s link? Did you read your own? The story is real. “Bless you” is a banned word in that teacher’s classroom and the girl was ultimately given in school suspension. Those are facts.
      The teacher even wrote a letter to the parents, in it she says that the girl Kendra blurted out</b the off limits phrase after another student sneezed. The teacher even explains in the letter that she corrected the girl in front of the entire classroom. According to the girl, when she said she had a first amendment right to free speech, the teacher alledgedly said "Not in my classroom, you don't."

  • Paul Hooson

    Bless you is such a vanilla and generic term such as “Oh, my God!” that this school district is acting way over any line. Students should have the right to use some religious terms or even share their faith at school. It’s just that the teachers should not officially promote a single faith over another, but should be able to make some references to religions because religion is a large part of human civilization and history, and in social studies, history, literature, or other areas the impact of religion deserves discussion.

  • Par4Course

    OMG, that teacher is sooo lame! She sounds like Greg Gutfeld on The Five, issuing a list of banned words and phrases. She definitely needs to get a life or something. “Bless you” is not “God talk.” Maybe it would be OK if the student just said “Gesundheit! [good health],” like they did back in the day.

  • JWH

    Too many details unknown. I reserve judgment.

  • Larry

    Virtually every country around the globe has its own way of wishing sneezers well. People in Arabic countries say, “Alhamdulillah,” which means, “praise be to God.” Hindus say, “Live!” or “Live well!” Some countries have special sneezing responses for children. In Russia, after children are given the traditional response, “bud zdorov” (“be healthy”), they are also told “rosti bolshoi” (“grow big”). When a child sneezes in China, he or she will hear “bai sui,” which means, “may you live 100 years.”

  • EricSteel

    It turns out this is not an isolated case. Professor Bans College Students From Saying ‘Bless You’ In Class (

    From the class syllabus:

    Behavioral Deduction

    My classroom and laboratory are important places for learning, so your behavior is very important to me and to other students in the course. If you insist on disrupting this important place of learning, then your final grade may be affected. The following behaviors will result in a grade deduction:

    1. Talking with classmates unrelated to class participation;
    2. Being late for class;
    3. Being unprepared for class and/or interrupting the professor in the middle of the
    lecture for handouts or other information that should have been obtained prior to the
    class meeting;
    4. Cell phone or other disturbances. (All electronic devices should be silenced prior to
    entering the classroom.)
    5. Sharpening your pencil in the middle of class.
    6. Saying “bless you.” We are taught that it is polite to say “bless you” when someone
    sneezes. However, if you say this while I am talking, it is NOT polite, it is very rude!

    Please be aware that grade deductions for behavioral issues as noted above may be as significant as 15% of the final grade. Numbers 3, 5 and 6 are especially rude, and may result in an immediate 1% grade deduction for each occurrence. Especially egregious behavior could result in expulsion from the class, withdrawal from the course, and disciplinary action by the college.

  • Michael Lang

    As always, little Brucie plays the good little jack-booted lib fascist. Way to go Brucie!